FORMER national team coach Chot Reyes is confident NBA G League-bound Kai Sotto will get to improve his game and succeed.
“I have no worries about Kai’s skills because he has all the skills for a basketball player. He’s a great ball-handler, a great shooter, great passer because he sees the game very well. For me it’s really his strength,” said Reyes during “Coaches Unfiltered” vodcast Thursday night.
The 18-year-old will play with his fellow top prospects in Fil-Am sensation Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd, Daishen Nix and recent additions Jonathan Kuminga of Congo and Princepal Singh of India for the Select squad which will reportedly be based in Walnut Creek, California in the 2020-21 season.
The NBA G League developmental team will serve as an alternative path for elite prospects wanting to play professionally.
“Being around Jalen Green and all that, everyday he’s going to get daily top-level competition, good practices in and that’s what Kai needs,” said Reyes.
“He (Sotto) needs to toughen up. Kailangan niya mabugbog, play against people who are bigger, stronger, and better than he is, which he will never get here.”
Sotto, who flew to the United States early last year, was the first international prospect to join the G League’s select program.
Reyes is happy with the decision of Sotto to pursue his ultimate dream of becoming the first Filipino to play in the NBA.
“For now, that’s the best option, because the people behind G League are also the NBA people. This is a project of the NBA, so it’s a good strategically for Kai to be there so he’s already in the NBA radar and part of the NBA family. It’s going to improve his chances of eventually getting drafted in the NBA,” said Reyes.
“I wanted to make sure that through all that, he gets top caliber competition. I think it’s a good situation for him,” he added.
“The NCAA is a good option, Europe is still an option, but for now, because of the need for him to strengthen physically and develop physically, I think the best for him is to get that very specific training and monitoring from American trainers.”
To be handled by five-time NBA champion Byron Scott, Sotto and company will participate in training and exhibition games against other G League teams and international clubs. The team will play around 10-12 games against existing G League teams in games that will not be included in the regular season standings.